Our Industry Part 4 – Riz Boardshorts

Riz Boardshorts have been an inspiration since they launched their crowdfunder campaign to get there incredible boardies underway. They have taken the concept of using recycled marine plastic to another level with their bottles to boardshorts campaign. As well as this they also recycle their own boardshorts back into boardshorts when they have worn out; a great example of closing the loop of use of raw materials as much as possible. Founded by Riz Smith, who had been designing unsustainable swim wear ranges, he set out with the ‘simple’ philosophy to make ‘The most beautiful and sustainable swim shorts in the world’. He’s doing that, and his company Riz is giving back to the planet by taking this rubbish out of the system. If you’d like to find out more click HERE.



I have no idea how you could turn a plastic bottle into a pair of shorts, is this something you’re going to develop yourself, or is it a process you are going to modify? At the moment we use fabric which is made from standard recycled plastic bottles – these are broken down into pellets then woven into fabric that becomes textiles and ultimately shorts. It takes about 20 bottles to make 1 pair of shorts. The key question with ocean plastics will be what percentage of the plastics found on beaches can actually be recycled. Second question will be how much cleaning is required to get them to a state where they are recyclable.


How much plastic do you actually need to create a board short, and is it anything we see from a water bottle to fairy liquid bottle to fishing crate? It’s 20 bottles to a pair of boardshorts. The fabric we use at the moment would use any bottle which can be put into your recycling bag. In terms of beach waste, this is an unknown which we will be starting to answer at the meeting next week. We will be working with the recycling industry to work out which plastics found on the beaches can go into the recycling process to make textiles. It may be that some of them will work for textiles but that we need to find other markets for other plastics.


I’m asking this because I actually don’t know, but are you turning the plastic in the bottles into polyester, or will it be a different material, in which case what will that feel like? We are expecting the bottles to be turned into polyester and would expect, though we don’t know, that the it will have the same feel as our current recycled fabric. But that is very much unknown at the moment!

You can get involved and help The Plastic Project HERE

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